A Gig Harbor teenager accused of posting semi-nude photos of a woman online and telling her he’d take them down only if she gave him cash or had sex with him pleaded not guilty to second-degree extortion Wednesday.
Court Commissioner Meagan Foley released Gunnar Lantz, 18, on his own recognizance following his arraignment in Pierce County Superior Court.
Lantz “is prohibited from attending the same high school of the alleged victim, shall immediately shut down his Facebook page pending further order of the court and shall not share/publish any pictures of the alleged victim” while he awaits the resolution of his case, court records state.
Attorney Bryan Hershman represents Lantz.
“This case is very new,” Hershman told The News Tribune. “The charging documents just got filed this afternoon. There’s a whole bunch more facts to uncover in this case, and I’d ask anybody not to prejudge my client. I think that there are factual and legal issues that will arise during the investigation that will be of great interest to the prosecutor in evaluating this case.”
Gig Harbor police began investigating the case after the woman reported the alleged extortion.
According to charging papers:
The woman sent Lantz the photos of herself several months ago, seeking his opinion about her ability to be an exotic dancer.
An unknown person told her on Facebook that Lantz had been showing the photos at a party. The woman asked Lantz how she could get the photos back, to which he replied that he had posted them online and would take them down if she gave him $550 or had sex with him.
She asked why he’d posted the photos, court papers show.
Lantz allegely replied that it was revenge because she had refused his offer to manage a pornography company. He also was angry because the woman told him she would not talk to him again.
Text messages obtained by police as part of the investigation appeared to support that, the records show.
In one of those messages, he said he wanted her to suffer. In another, he told her there was nothing she could do about it because he was a minor when she sent him the photos, .
Lantz also allegedly told the woman he thought posting the photos online would be “ironic.”
When the two arranged to meet and exchange the money, police arrested him.
Lantz declined to speak to officers other than telling them that the woman sent the photos to him when he was a minor, the charging papers state.
Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268